BetMGM sportsbooks will open at the three Arizona Gila River casinos and at State Farm Stadium (pictured above) following sports wagering deals with Gila River Hotels & Casinos and the Arizona Cardinals. [Image: Shutterstock.com]
Sportsbook operator makes maiden entry into Arizona
BetMGM has taken its maiden steps into Arizona through retail and online sports wagering partnerships with Gila River Hotels & Casinos, and the National Football League (NFL) franchise Arizona Cardinals.
The MGM Resorts-owned sportsbook shared news of its Gila-Cardinals double deal on August 9 via Twitter:
A highlight of the partnerships sees brick-and-mortar BetMGM sportsbooks scheduled for the three Gila River casino properties in Arizona — Wild Horse Pass, Vee Quiva, and Lone Butte — with another to be built at State Farm Stadium – the Glendale, Arizona home of the Cardinals.
The Gila River Indian Community was formed in 1859 through the coming together of two tribes, the Akimel O’odham (Pima) and the Pee Posh (Maricopa). The tribe’s reservation runs along the Gila River in Pinal County, Arizona. The tribe-owned properties at Wild Horse Pass, Vee Quiva, and Lone Butte are operated by Gila River Hotels & Casinos.
According to a BetMGM news release, the Gila River sportsbooks will open “near football season”, while the State Farm Stadium installation is set to start operating “in time for the 2022 NFL season.”
September 9 launch date for legal sports betting in the state
The Arizona Department of Gaming (ADG) has set a September 9 launch date for legal sports betting in the state. On the same day, the new NFL season kicks off with a Thursday night clash as 2021 Super Bowl winners Tampa Bay Buccaneers host the Dallas Cowboys. The Cardinals start their season on the road in Nashville when they take on the Tennessee Titans on September 12.
Sports betting anticipation builds statewide
Bettors in Arizona are looking forward to a full-fat start to legal sports betting this fall. The road to BetMGM building maiden relationships in the state and raising retail sportsbooks was paved by Arizona Governor Doug Ducey signing into law HB 2772 on April 15.
Ducey took to Twitter back then, saying it was “ a historic day for tribal nations, their communities, and the entire state of Arizona”:
HB 2772 works in tandem with an updated tribal compact and allows Arizona’s tribal casinos and professional sports teams to offer retail and online wagering.
BetMGM CEO Adam Greenblatt spoke of the passion of Arizona sports fans in an August 9 press release. He added that the Gila River tribe’s brand and the Cardinals represent the state’s “premier casino destinations and sports franchise” respectively, and make ideal partners for BetMGM.
new three-way alliance of “industry leading brands […] will deliver the ultimate experience in Arizona sports betting.”
Gila River Hotels & Casino CEO, Kenneth Manuel, concurred, saying the new three-way alliance of “industry leading brands […] will deliver the ultimate experience in Arizona sports betting.”
“Welcome to the family”
The Arizona Cardinals and Gila River Hotels & Casinos have had a relationship spanning over a decade. The pair cemented their association in 2019, when the NFL franchise named the Gila River brand its official casino and hotel partner in Arizona.
The addition of BetMGM to this robust relationship was shared by the Cardinals via Twitter with a “welcome to the family” message:
With BetMGM sportsbooks going up in the Gila River tribe’s three gaming locations, Arizona sports fans will be able to totally immerse themselves in a sports-centric environment. Fans can sleep in Cardinals-themed rooms — or choose a themed room in line with their favorite state NBA, WBA, MLB, or NHL team — before heading down to the BetMGM retail venue for some betting action.
Arizona Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill said the three-way partnership represented a “tremendous opportunity”. He added that BetMGM and Gila River are “best-in-class partners whose excellence and expertise in this emerging space will provide a new and innovative way to engage and interact with our fans.”